It’s probably not of any value, but since I mention it in my story, and since it’s something I would have never considered before writing part two of The Baker’s Wife, I would like to say that pencils were known in late Renaissance times. For those who knew this, I’m sorry to talk about it. I didn’t know any of this. I thought they only used quill pens. Now, I know.
I’m just going to hit the highlights, then provide links at the end for further information.
- Before pencils, people would use sticks of lead, sometimes for writing, mostly for drawing. They were the original stylus.
- In the 1500’s, graphite was discovered. It produced a much darker line and became popular. However, graphite was softer than lead and had to be held in a container. Good graphite was also rare; nobody had found a way to purify it yet.
- Wood was the most popular graphite container.
- In the 1700’s, science found a way to purify graphite, making it easier to produce more pencils.
There’s a lot more fascinating trivia than that, but I’m running out of time. Here are the links, as promised.
http://www.pencils.com/blog/pencil-history/ (Includes a pic of the “oldest known wood case pencil”, which is what I see in my head when I write about the one Zhiv uses. For those who are curious.)
As for part two, it should be published on Kindle by the end of the week. I figured out a way to streamline formatting and boy did it shave some time off. Very happy. I’ll announce it here as soon as I know it’s available.